It’s been a few years since I compiled this… I’ll update as I get time but for now here’s some light reading.
Pass it on.
FACTS About Firearms in America
Assault Weapons Ban
Assault Weapons” are RARELY ever used in crimes
Top 10 Most Frequently Traced Guns Used In Crimes In 1994 (BEFORE the ’94 Federal “Assault Weapon” Ban):
1. Lorcin P25 (pistol)
2. Davis Ind. P380 (pistol)
3. Raven Arms MP25 (pistol)
4. Lorcin L25 (pistol)
5. Mossberg 500 (shotgun)
6. Phoenix Arms Raven (pistol)
7. Jennings J22 (pistol)
8. Ruger P89 (pistol)
9. Glock 17 (pistol)
10. Bryco 38 (pistol)
Source: US Dept. Justice.
“Assault Weapons” are RARELY ever used to kill police officers
Calibers Most Often Used To Kill Police Officers In 1994 (BEFORE the ’94 Federal “Assault Weapon” Ban):
1. .38 caliber handgun – 25.2%
2. .357 magnum handgun – 12.1%
3. 9mm handgun – 9.5%
5. 12 gauge shotgun – 7.4%
6. .22 caliber handgun – 5.4%
7. .22 caliber rifle – 4.4%
Source: US Dept. Justice.
According to the most recent detailed report, Dept. of Justice; Firearm Use by Offender…
“Assault weapons” are RARELY possessed by criminals during commission of a crime
State and Federal prison inmates armed during the crime for which they are being incarcerated: (table 2)
* 9.9% of state and 7.3% of federal inmates possessed “single-shot” firearms.
* 7.9% of state and 7.7% of federal inmates possessed conventional semiautomatic firearm.
* 1.5% of state and 1.7% of federal inmates possessed military-style semi-auto or full-auto firearms.
“Assault weapons” are RARELY involved in ANY crimes –
State and Federal prison inmates who have ever possessed firearms during ANY crime: (table 2)
* 14.2% of state and 10.6% of federal inmates possessed “single-shot” firearm during ANY crime.
* 10.9% of state and 9.8% of federal inmates possessed conventional semiautomatic firearm during ANY crime.
* 2.5% of state and 2.3% of federal inmates possessed military-style semi-auto or full-auto firearms during ANY crime.
“Assault weapons” possessed by criminals during crimes are usually obtained ILLEGALLY
Of State prison inmates who possessed military-style semi-auto or full-auto firearms in crimes for which they are incarcerated: (table 10)
* 48.5% obtained them through illegal sources (theft, drug dealer, black market, etc.)
* 25.2% obtained them from family or friend.
* 19.3% obtained them from retail sale.
* 1.9% obtained them from gun shows. (so much for that supposed gun-show “loophole” being a major source of “assault weapons” used in crime)
“Assault weapons” that are possessed during a crime are the LEAST LIKELY type of firearm to be actually discharged during the crime.
“Assault weapons” that are possessed during a crime are the LEAST LIKELY type of firearm to be used to injure the victim.
“Assault weapons” that are possessed during a crime are the LEAST LIKELY type of firearm to be used to kill the victim.
ASSAULT WEAPONS” HAVE NEVER BEEN A SIGNIFICANT FACTOR IN GUN-CRIMES.
The “Assault Weapon” Ban Did NOT Reduce The Number Of Officers Killed In The Line Of Duty
Six years prior to “Assault Weapon” Ban:
Year….Total LEOs Killed…By Handguns…By Other Guns…By Other Methods
Six years after “Assault Weapon” Ban:
Year….Total LEOs Killed…By Handguns…By Other Guns…By Other Methods
Source: US Dept. Justice, Law Enforcement Officers Feloniously Killed
* The number of police killed by non-handgun firearms (which includes “assault weapons”) has NOT decreased since the passing of the “assault weapon” ban in 1994 but in fact has INCREASED since the passage of the AWB. And this comes despite the decrease in the number of LEOs killed by all other means INCLUDING handguns.
Studies demonstrated that the “Assault Weapon” ban “FAILED” to reduce gun-murders:
From The 1997 “Impact Evaluation” of the “Assault Weapon” Ban –
“We were unable to detect any reduction to date in two types of gun murders that are thought to be closely associated with assault weapons, those with multiple victims in a single incident and those producing multiple bullet wounds per victim. We did find a reduction in killings of police officers since mid-1995. However, the available data are partial and preliminary, and the trends may have been influenced by law enforcement agency policies regarding bullet-proof vests.”
5.2.3. Assault Weapons and Crime –
“…assault weapons do not appear to be used disproportionately in violent crime relative to other guns”
“Overall, assault weapons accounted for about 1% of guns associated with homicides, aggravated assaults, and robberies” and “only 2% of guns associated with drug crimes were assault weapons.”
5.2.4. Unbanned Handguns Capable of Accepting Large-capacity Magazines –
“The ban on large-capacity magazines does not seem to have discouraged the use of these guns.”
6.2.1. Trends in Multiple-Victim Gun Homicides –
“[Studies] failed to produce any evidence that the ban reduced the number of victims per gun homicide incident.”
6.3.4. Conclusions –
“[Studies] failed to produce evidence of a post-ban reduction in the average number of gunshot wounds per case or in the proportion of cases involving multiple wounds.”
6.4.2. Assault Weapons and Homicides of Police Officers –
“In sum, police officers are rarely murdered with assault weapons.”
From The 1999 “Impacts of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban” Report To Congress –
“the weapons [“assault weapons] banned by this legislation were used only rarely in gun crimes before the ban”
“The ban has failed to reduce the average number of victims per gun murder incident or multiple gunshot wound victims.”
“…the banned guns are used in only a small fraction of gun crimes; even before the ban, most of them rarely turned up in law enforcement agencies’ requests… to trace the sales histories of guns recovered in criminal investigations.”
“The ban’s short-term impact on gun violence has been uncertain”
From The FINAL June 2004 “Updated Assessment On The Federal Assault Weapon Ban” Report To Congress –
“AWs [Assault weapons] were used in only a small fraction of gun crimes prior to the ban”
“…we cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence.”
“These analyses revealed no ban effects, thus failing to show confirming evidence of the mechanism through which the ban was hypothesized to affect the gun murder rate”
“…there has been no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence… as we might have expected had the ban reduced crimes committed with AWs (assault weapons) and LCMs (large-capacity magazines).”
“Thus, it is premature to make definitive assessments of the ban’s impact on gun violence.”
THE DEFINITIVE CONGRESSIONAL REPORTS ON THE “ASSAULT WEAPON” BAN ALL SHOWED IT “FAILED” TO REDUCE GUN-MURDERS.
“Assault weapons” are NOT “machine guns”.
They are “semi-automatic” meaning one pull of the trigger=one bullet discharged while the next bullet is then chambered ready for the next trigger pull. “Assault weapons” are not full-auto firearms and they do NOT “spray” bullets with a single pull of the trigger.
“ASSAULT WEAPONS” ARE NOT MACHINE-GUNS.
The “Assault weapon” Ban had NOTHING to do with silencers.
One of the cosmetic features addressed by the “Assault Weapon” Ban included flash-suppressors which reduce the bright muzzle-glare ONLY in the eyes of the shooter in low-light conditions. Flash-suppressors do NOT “hide” the bright flash from any other observer and do NOT “silence” the very loud report of the gunshot sound.
“FLASH-SUPPRESSORS” ARE NOT “SILENCERS” AND DO NOT MAKE THE SHOOTER “INVISIBLE” AT NIGHT.
The Columbine-Killers did not violate any provision of “Assault Weapon” ban.
The firearms used in Columbine included two sawed-off shotguns (already illegal), a pistol and a legally-produced TEC-9 “assault weapon”. The “assault weapon” ban did not stop those two UNDERAGE killers from illegally acquiring the guns, illegally modifying the shotguns, illegally bringing them to school or illegally murdering 13 people.
THE “ASSAULT WEAPON” BAN DID NOT TAKE GUNS OUT OF THE HANDS OF CRIMINALS.
The 1994 Federal “Assault Weapon” Ban did NOT actually ban “assault weapons”.
The ban only prohibited the NEW PRODUCTION of certain firearms based on cosmetic features. There were hundreds of thousands of “assault weapons” legally owned, bought and sold BEFORE the ban was implemented and, DESPITE the overall drop in crime rates during the ban, there were STILL hundreds of thousands of “assault weapons” being legally, peacefully and safely owned, bought and sold during the 10 years of the ban’s existance.
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF EXISTING “UZIs, AR-15s AND AK-47s” WERE COMPLETELY LEGAL TO OWN, BUY AND SELL FOR THE ENTIRE DURATION OF THE FEDERAL “ASSAULT WEAPON BAN” – AND YET CRIME RATES STILL DECREASED.
The 2nd Amendment is NOT about “duck hunting”.
Military-style firearms (like “assault weapons”) are specifically protected by the 2nd Amendment according to the U.S. Supreme Court rulings in U.S. v. Miller (1939) and Lewis v. U.S. (1980).
* In the Miller decision the Supreme Court stated, “In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession of [a particular gun] has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument”.
* In the Lewis decision, the Supreme Court stated, “the Second Amendment guarantees no right to keep and bear a firearm that does not have ‘some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia'”.
SO ACCORDING TO THE SUPREME COURT, MILITARY-STYLE FIREARMS ARE EXACTLY THE TYPE OF FIREARMS THAT ARE PROTECTED BY THE 2ND AMENDMENT
**”A number of factors—including the fact that the banned weapons and magazines were rarely used to commit murders in this country…posed challenges in discerning the effects of the ban.”
**”…the banned guns are used in only a small fraction of gun crimes; even before the ban, most of them rarely turned up in law enforcement agencies’ requests to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) to trace the sales histories of guns recovered in criminal investigations.”
**There were several reasons to expect, at best, a modest ban effect on criminal gun injuries and deaths. First, studies before the ban generally found that between less than 1 and 8 percent of gun crimes involved assault weapons, depending on the specific definition and data source used.”
**”Given the limited use of the banned guns and magazines in gun crimes, even the maximum theoretically achievable preventive effect of the ban on outcomes such as the gun murder rate is almost certainly too small to detect statistically… National Institute of Justice report
Numbers from BEFORE the first AWB in 1994:
California. In 1990, “assault weapons” comprised thirty-six of the 963 firearms involved in homicide or aggravated assault and analyzed by police crime laboratories, according to a report prepared by the California Department of Justice, and based on data from police firearms laboratories throughout the state. The report concluded that “assault weapons play a very small role in assault and homicide firearm cases.” Of the 1,979 guns seized from California narcotics dealers in 1990, fifty-eight were “assault weapons.”
Chicago. From 1985 through 1989, only one homicide was perpetrated with a military caliber rifle. Of the 17,144 guns seized by the Chicago police in 1989, 175 were “military style weapons.”
Florida. Florida Department of Law Enforcement Uniform Crime Reports for 1989 indicate that rifles of all types accounted for 2.6% of the weapons used in Florida homicides. The Florida Assault Weapons Commission found that “assault weapons” were used in 17 of 7,500 gun crimes for the years 1986-1989.
Los Angeles. Of the more than 4,000 guns seized by police during one year, only about 3% were “assault weapons.”
Maryland. In 1989-90, there was only one death involving a “semiautomatic assault rifle” in all twenty-four counties of the State of Maryland.
Massachusetts. Of 161 fatal shootings in Massachusetts in 1988, three involved “semiautomatic assault rifles.” From 1985 to 1991, the guns were involved in 0.7% of all shootings.
Miami. The Miami police seized 18,702 firearms from January 1, 1989 to December 31, 1993. Of these, 3.13% were “assault weapons.”
New Jersey. According to the Deputy Chief Joseph Constance of the Trenton New Jersey Police Department, in 1989, there was not a single murder involving any rifle, much less a “semiautomatic assault rifle,” in the State of New Jersey. No person in New Jersey was killed with an “assault weapon” in 1988. Nevertheless, in 1990 the New Jersey legislature enacted an “assault weapon” ban that included low-power .22 rifles, and even BB guns. Based on the legislature’s broad definition of “assault weapons,” in 1991, such guns were used in five of 410 murders in New Jersey; in forty-seven of 22,728 armed robberies; and in twenty-three of 23,720 aggravated assaults committed in New Jersey.
New York City. Of 12,138 crime guns seized by New York City police in 1988, eighty were “assault-type” firearms.
New York State. Semiautomatic “assault rifles” were used in twenty of the 2,394 murders in New York State in 1992.
San Diego. Of the 3,000 firearms seized by the San Diego police in 1988-90, nine were “assault weapons” under the California definition.
San Francisco. Only 2.2% of the firearms confiscated in 1988 were military-style semiautomatics.
Virginia. Of the 1,171 weapons analyzed in state forensics laboratories in 1992, 3.3% were “assault weapons.”
National statistics. Less than four percent of all homicides in the United States involve any type of rifle. No more than .8% of homicides are perpetrated with rifles using military calibers. (And not all rifles using such calibers are usually considered “assault weapons.”) Overall, the number of persons killed with rifles of any type in 1990 was lower than the number in any year in the 1980s.
Police departments nationwide agree that criminals do not prefer these weapons:
** Police View: Over 100,000 police officers delivered a message to Congress in 1990 stating that only 2% to 3% of crimes are committed using a so-called “assault weapon.”
Congressional Record, 13 September 1990, p. E 2826, citing [Police Advertisement], Roll Call, 3 September 1990. Also, see Howard Schneider, “Gun Owners Take Shot at Schaefer Assault-Weapon Bill,” The Washington Post, February 15, 1991
** Florida study: In Florida, only 3.5% of the guns recovered by the police were guns that could loosely be defined as “assault weapons.”
State of Florida Commission on Assault Weapons, Report, 18 May 1990, pp. 34-41. State of Florida Commission on Assault Weapons, Report, 18 May 1990, pp. 34-41.
** California study: The California Department of Justice suppressed an official report showing that “assault weapons” comprised only 3.7% of the guns used in crime. While the report was eventually leaked to the media, it received little press coverage.
David Alan Coia, “Assault rifles said to play small role in violent crime,” The Washington Times, 27 June 92.
** Virginia task force: A special task force on assault weapons found that only 2.8 percent of the homicides involved “assault-type weapons” during 1992.
Mark Johnson, “Assault-type weapons rarely used,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, 4 August 1993.
** Knives more deadly: According to the FBI, people have a much greater chance of being killed by a knife or a blunt object than by any kind of rifle, including an “assault rifle.” In Chicago, the chance is 67 times greater. That is, a person is 67 times more likely to be stabbed or beaten to death in Chicago than to be murdered by an “assault rifle.”
FBI, “Crime in the United States,” 1994, p. 18. Matt L. Rodriguez, Superintendent of Police for the City of Chicago, 1993 Murder Analysis at 12, 13.
“Our analyses provide no evidence that implementation of the Brady Act was associated with a reduction in homicide rates. In particular, we find no differences in homicide or firearm homicide rates to adult victims in the 32 treatment states directly subject to the Brady Act provisions compared with the remaining control states.”
Journal of the American Medical Association (Vol. 284 No. 5, August 2, 2000)
Before Congress and President Clinton approved the Brady bill in 1993, laws delaying handgun purchases (imposed in 24 states) were known to have no effect on crime. During 1992, the most recent year of data available when the Brady bill was passed, California, the state with the most restrictive waiting period law (15 days on all firearm sales, retail and private) had total violent crime and murder rates 58% and 44% higher, respectively, than the rates for the rest of the country. (FBI) Anti-gun researcher David McDowell had concluded that “waiting periods have no influence on either gun homicides or gun suicides.”
(“Preventative Effects of Firearm Regulations on Injury Mortality,” prepared for the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, 1993)
In 1992 states delaying the purchase of handguns and D.C. had higher violent crime rates overall, than states that did not delay handgun purchases. Additionally, states that delayed handgun purchases were more likely to have violent crime and murder rates higher than the national rates. Of the 12 states (and D.C.) that had violent crime rates higher than the national rate, eight (and D.C.) delayed handgun purchases. Of the 16 states (and D.C.) that had murder rates higher than the national rate, nine (and D.C.) delayed handgun purchases
Crime: 34.6% higher in states with a purchase delay.
Homicide: 3.7% higher in states with a purchase delay.
Robbery: 76.9% higher in states with a purchase delay.
Assault: 21.6% higher in states with a purchase delay.
Data: FBI, “Crime in the United States, 1992”
Only 7% of armed career criminals obtain firearms from licensed gun shops.
(Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms “Protecting America: The Effectiveness of the Federal Armed Career Criminal Statute,” 1992, p. 28)
85% of police chiefs believe that the Brady Act has not stopped criminals from obtaining handguns.
(Membership poll, National Association of Chiefs of Police, May 1997)
Violent crime has declined nationwide during the 1990s, but in the first two years of the Brady Act (before additional states subject to the Act`s five-day waiting period became exempt) violent crime and murder rates declined less, overall, in states subject to the 5-day wait. The overall violent crime rate in states the Brady Act`s five-day waiting period was imposed upon declined six percent versus a decline of 9.4% in “Brady-exempt” states. The overall murder rate declined nine percent in Brady states, versus 16.9% in “Brady-exempt” states.
The General Accounting Office reported that during the Act`s first year, 95.2% of handgun purchase applicants were approved without a hitch. Of the denials, nearly half were due to traffic tickets or administrative problems with application forms (including sending forms to the wrong law enforcement agency)
(“Implementation of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act,” Report to theCommittee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate, and the Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives, GAO/GGD-96-22, Jan. 1996, pp. 64-66)
Persons denied for violent and nonviolent crime-related reasons accounted for 2.4% of applicants; denials due to administrative errors, 2%; and denials due to traffic tickets, 0.4%. Only four jurisdictions–Ohio; South Carolina; and Harris (Houston) and Tarrant (Fort Worth) Counties, Texas–had records identifying denials for violent crime reasons, and 0.2% of handgun purchase applications were so denied.
General Accounting Office study
The average time between the purchase of a gun and its use in murder is more than six years. (For robbery and assault, 5.6 years.)
(Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms gun tracing statistics)
far less than 21% of criminal gun users would be affected by a background check. The 21% who obtained their last crime handgun at a gun store included 5% who had obtained the gun by theft, rather than by purchase. Of the 16% who had obtained the gun by purchase, at least some likely did not have disqualifying criminal records at the time of purchase.
Further, not all of the guns acquired by criminals are acquired for crime. (Many criminals live in neighborhoods with other criminals, and hence own guns for defense.) The more likely a felon was to be a serious gun criminal, the less likely he was to have acquired a retail gun. For example, of the criminals who specialized in unarmed crime, 30% obtained their most recent handgun at a store (by purchase or by theft). Of the “handgun predators” who specialize in handgun crime, only 7% had gotten a handgun from a store. For criminals as a whole, of the guns that had been obtained “to use in a crime,” 12% came from a store.
Wright and Rossi National Institute of Justice study
Concealed Carry Laws
For each additional year that a concealed handgun law is in effect the murder rate declines by 3 percent, rape by 2 percent, and robberies by over 2 percent.John R. Lott, Jr., More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws. http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/493636.html
Florida adopted a right-to-carry law in 1987. Between 1987 and 1996, these changes occurred:
Homicide rate DOWN 36%
Firearm homicide rate: DOWN 37%
Handgun homicide rate: DOWN 41%
Homicide rate: DOWN 0.4%
Firearm homicide rate: UP 15%
Handgun homicide rate: UP 24% “1998 NRA Fact Card.”
221,443 concealed carry licenses were issued in Florida between October of 1987 and April of 1994. During that time, Florida recorded 18 crimes committed by licensees with firearms.
Lott, John R. Jr. and Mustard, David B. “Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns.” University of Chicago School of Law, 7/26/96.
Seven of every 10 violent crimes are not committed with firearms
29% of homicides, 90% of rapes, 59% of robberies, and 77% of aggravated assaults are committed with weapons other than firearms. Approximately 10,000 murders are committed each year with weapons other than handguns, most with weapons other than firearms.
(Homicides, robbery, and aggravated assault data, FBI; rape data, Nat`l Crime Victimization Surveys)
Despite over 200 million guns owned by between 76 to 85 million people, the children killed is much smaller than the number lost through bicycle accidents, drowning, and fires. Children are 14.5 times more likely to die from car accidents than from accidents involving guns.
John R. Lott, Jr., More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws. http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/493636.html
In 1982, a survey of imprisoned criminals found that 34% of them had been “scared off, shot at, wounded or captured by an armed victim.” Study: “Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun.”
By Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology (Northwestern University School of Law), 1995
Washington D.C. enacted a virtual ban on handguns in 1976. Between 1976 and 1991, Washington D.C.’s homicide rate rose 200%, while the U.S. rate rose 12%.
“TEN MYTHS ABOUT GUN CONTROL” January of 1999 – National Rifle Association